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วันพุธ, ตุลาคม 06, 2553

The Reversal [Hardcover]

Customer Review:
Michael Connelly brings together criminal defense attorney Michael (Mickey) Haller and his half-brother, the cynical and battle-scarred LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, in "The Reversal." Mickey calls himself "the defender of the damned," a job he has had for over twenty years. "During that time," he states, "I'd grown a suspicion and distrust of prosecutors and police...." Still, the L. A. District Attorney convinces Mickey to go over to the dark side as an independent special prosecutor in the second trial of Jason Jessup. The defendant has already spent twenty-four years in San Quentin for abducting and strangling twelve-year-old Melissa Landy. Over the last two decades, Jessup filed numerous motions and appeals while steadfastly proclaiming his innocence. Much to his delight, the California Supreme Court reversed his conviction and sent the case back to Los Angeles County "for either retrial or dismissal of the charges." Against his better judgment, Mickey agrees to take the case, partly because it will give him an opportunity to work with his ex-wife, deputy district attorney Maggie McPherson, and Harry Bosch, who will be their investigator.

Jessup has a groundswell of support from the liberal media and an organization of lawyers known as the Genetic Justice Project. Although the physical evidence against Jessup may be a bit shaky, Melissa's sister, Sarah, who was thirteen when the murder occurred, vehemently stands by her eyewitness identification of Jessup as Melissa's abductor. However, Sarah has a history of drug abuse and run-ins with the law which the defense will undoubtedly exploit in an attempt to discredit her.

This is one of Connelly's most suspenseful and involving legal thrillers in years. It has incisive and realistic dialogue, compelling courtroom scenes, well-drawn characters, and a carefully constructed plot. Fascinating details about surveillance, trial strategy, forensics, and police procedure add to the book's verisimilitude. The only false note is that when Mickey is on the scene, he is the first-person narrator, but otherwise, Connelly writes in the third person. This is slightly jarring; Connelly might have been better off sticking to the third person throughout, especially since Haller, McPherson, and Bosch all share the spotlight. Another familiar face is FBI profiler Rachel Walling, who makes a strong cameo appearance when Bosch requests her analysis of Jessup's behavior. Harry stands out as the person most invested in nailing Jessup, partly because Harry has sole responsibility for his fourteen-year-old daughter whom he adores, and partly because he has worked tirelessly on hundreds of homicides during his thirty-five year career as a cop. He is passionate about finding the bad guys and putting them away so that they cannot do any more damage.

In "The Reversal," the author effectively shows how politics and public opinion influence the legal process; how the stress of trying a high-profile case can lead to mistakes in judgment; and the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected. Readers who crave a feel-good ending may balk at the novel's disquieting finale. Others may find Connelly's conclusion thought-provoking, daring, and original. It certainly demonstrates the ways in which life's vicissitudes and the capriciousness of fate can undermine the search for truth and pervert the course of justice. 
+++++
Happy Monday to everybody! We are coming into an incredible stretch of novels that seems like a blitzkrieg but basically it is just the precursor to Christmas, go figure. There are seriously good novels being released this week and Michael Connelly's The Reversal leads the way. Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, and just about everybody in their little fictional microcosm is involved in some small capacity. Just how big a Michael Connelly fan am I ? Well I have read all his novels: The Harry Bosch Series, Mickey Haller Novels, The Poet, Blood Work, Void Moon, Chasing the Dime, and The Scarecrow.
I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here so let's get into the guts of the novel from the back cover : "Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and be the prosecutor in the high-profile case of a brutal child murder. After twenty-four years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case with the condition he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD detective Harry Bosch.
Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them are Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.
With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again."
Serious stuff. This novel is a tense gripping drama. Question you may have is: Is this a Bosch or Haller vehicle? Which one dominates? Are there enough pages in the novel for the two of them? The answers are: both, neither, and yes. I was happy to read the novel and enjoy the manner in which Connelly placed the two characters together, like the jigsaw pieces they have been in past novels. The fuller and bigger picture is fun and taunt as the two coexist and work together to do the right thing. I am not going to give away any of the story for you. I find no joy in that, but the truth be told, The Reversal is an apt title for this gripping nail biter.
I can't say that this is his best work, but I certainly enjoyed the convergence of all the characters in this little universe Michael Connelly so masterfully put together. Bosch and Haller, the unlikely ying/yang brothers, going together against the forces of evil is nothing short of a flying by the seat of your pants ride. This novel has plenty of twists and turns so even those that are the most jaded can appreciate the way he builds and builds the suspense and tension all the way to its final scenes. Michael Connelly is in some rare air with the style and mastery he has come to show us time and time again. He makes it seem effortless as the entire plotline comes together at the cataclysmic end. If you are a fan of this author's work at all, missing this is a mistake.
Here is a cool link you may not find yet: The Publisher will also be running an exclusive video on MulhollandBooks.com of Michael Connelly driving on Mulholland Drive to promote the amazing enhanced eBook. It will post at 12:01 AM tomorrow.
http://www.mulhollandbooks.com/2010/10/05/michael-connelly-drives-mulholland-exclusive-video/
Here is the link for the book tour, check it out maybe his in a town near you:
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Here is the link for the You Tube video for the novel:
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